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Lex Service names Chinn's successor

Alan Bowkett will be appointed Lex Service chairman when Sir Trevor Chinn retires at the end of the year. Bowkett joins the board as deputy chairman next month.

Lex believes that Bowkett's business background - he has held senior positions with a number of companies, including ball bearing manufacturer RHP Bearings and building product business Boulton and Paul - combined with non-executive roles with CVC Capital Partners and Benelex-based automotive components supplier Metzeler offers the company a fresh perspective.

“Alan has experience both with building up and running several businesses and a track record of making money for shareholders,” says Lex corporate communications manager Anne-Marie Hill. “The company has great potential for growth and he will add value to the business.”

Lex released robust results for the six months to June 30 this year, with pre-tax profits up six per cent to £33.2m on turnover up from £706.4m to £745.7m. Chief executive Andy Harrison says the company will expand by exploiting its motoring and vehicle management expertise and building on the strength of the RAC brand.

The company, which will be renamed RAC plc next month, intends to invest £20m this year on technology to encourage cross-selling on its products. Harrison wants 10 per cent of customers purchasing more than one product by the end of next year - currently just 3.5 per cent of consumers and less than 10 per cent of business clients do.

“We need to take a more co-ordinated approach to the Lex operations, which will retain their trading names,” says Hill. “Lex has been a devolved set of businesses, but we are starting to take a company-wide approach to increase cross-selling.”

Lex warns that its full-year profits will be down £4m on 2001, with most of the impact arising in the second half of the year, due to £30m investment in infrastructure and a new CRM system at the RAC operations.

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